These 4 things I did as a practice owner got me more time back in my life ⏰⏱🕰
☝️ The first trick is that you HAVE TO take a week and write down EVERYTHING you do hour to hour. You need a clear understanding of what you're spending your time on during the week.
Maybe you're spending 6 hours/day in patient care,👨🦳 2 hours in the car commuting 🚘 and picking/dropping your kiddos off at school and activities, 1 hour on marketing efforts 📫, an hour grocery shopping, 1 hour cooking dinner.....and so on. But you have to write it down first so we can see where you need to make adjustments.
Once I KNEW where I was spending my time, I knew where I needed to make cuts!
🧐🧐🧐 So now what?
#1 DEVELOP A BLOCKED SCHEDULE -
At this point as an owner, you're probably still treating patients and growing your business. But do not make the mistake of being overly flexible to patient's needs...which I think is our nature as therapists. Segment your "work day" into blocks to make yourself more productive. For example, only schedule patients from 8-12 and 3-5, don't scatter them throughout your day. Then you have 3 uninterrupted hours to work on the business and get shit done. If you only have 30 minute or an hour here and there, it doesn't give you time to really focus and execute anything. If you don't have a large patient base yet, don't schedule patients M-F...cluster them together 2 or 3 days/mornings per week. Patients ALSO want to see other patients, so if they are littered throughout the week and see no one else, that causes another issue!
#2 DO NOT ELIMINATE "ME TIME" -
As a mom and a practice owner we always have 1,000,000 things we can be doing at all times. It's easy to find excuses to cut into "me" time, or "workout time", or "self reflection time" because the only one it impacts is US! It doesn't impact our patients, or our business, or our family. It's usually the 1st thing on the chopping block. But think 🤔 about this for a minute....if taking 30 minutes a day (or even a couple times per week) makes you more productive, makes you a better mom, wife, boss...then this is the MOST IMPORTANT thing you can do all week. Don't cut yourself short!
#3 DELEGATE OUT -
What tasks or things during the week do you ONLY do because you have to....not because you WANT TO?? If you hate doing laundry, if you stress about cooking dinner each night for your family, if you are tired of cleaning the office each week...these are things you need to eliminate from your plate. How??? Show your kids how to do their own laundry 🧺 . Or hire someone to do it for you. Meal 🥘 prep for dinners as a family on Sunday afternoons. Or order out a couple nights a week (and don't stress you're a bad mom)!! It's about the TIME you spend with your family, not if you prepared the meal or not. Hire a high school student to clean 🧼 your office. None of these things need to break the bank 🏦 but my gosh, it'll help get time back in your life!
#4 ASK FOR HELP BEFORE IT'S TOO LATE -
The busier we get treating patients, the more we get buried with everything else in our lives. Don't wait until you're 40-hours deep in patient care to look for help. Utilize technology to help streamline support staff...why hire a front desk person if all you need is help with booking appointments or online marketing? Technology doesn't come with HR issues, it doesn't come with payroll taxes!! Want to hear my rule of thumb for hiring? Hiring a PT or PTA comes once my schedule is built up to treating 20-hours/week. If I am treating more than that I don't have enough time to recruit, hire and train them properly. Trust me, I've made this mistake before and it never works out! 😞 Hiring receptionist or admin staff should be when you are averaging >20 visits/week...after that point you are risking stifling the growth of your practice. And then once you get to >30 visits/day you ADD another admin/receptionist.
LADIES and GENTLEMAN --- these 4 things have contributed to giving me back time in my life for what is truly important to me!
Katie co-founded HENO based on her career as a physical therapist and practice owner of over 10 years. Her understanding of the pain points many practice owners face has equipped her to create practice management solutions that optimize the efficiency and profitability of physical, speech and occupational therapy clinics.
Discover all the ways to streamline your practice with our end-to-end practice management platform.